By Myung Ji
Recently, I had a chance to intern with EPA Region 2 in New York City. Because I am in a university program in hospitality, focusing on event leadership, I got to work for the Public Affairs Division (PAD). Even though I had work experience in the convention industry in my country, Korea, it was my first time working in public affairs, which was a challenge for me.
Because “green”/environmental issues are the current trend in the hospitality industry, I was very excited to have this opportunity. However, my 11-week internship at EPA brought me something more than I expected. During my internship at EPA, I assisted in the planning of two conferences, several press events, and a roundtable, covering the topics of green chemistry, the 40-year celebration of environmental protection, the announcement of Jamaica Bay No Discharge Zone, lower Passaic River clean-up, electronic recycling management, and illegal pesticides.
This internship gave me an understanding that EPA handles a variety of programs, public events, and partnerships in order to protect our environment. Also, EPA works to communicate with communities and educate people effectively. One of the roles of the Public Affairs Division is to inform the public about EPA’s mission and actions taken. The Public Affairs Division deals with topics throughout the organization, so that working in this division has given me exposure to a wide range of EPA’s issues.
Now, my internship is almost done. At this point, I realize how important it is to protect the environment, how the environment impacts our daily lives, as well as how our environment even contributes to creating jobs. I know that I was not a person who seriously cared about our environment and did not have much knowledge about it. However, I strongly believe that this experience has made me begin to care more about the environment, adopting this concept to my work in the future. I hope this opportunity is extended to other students, so that they can get the same feeling that I have. Thank you PAD staff!
About the Author: Myung Ji joined the Public Affairs Division of EPA region 2 as an events intern. Myung Ji earned an MBA degree in hospitality with a focus on Event Leadership at Johnson and Wales University, Rhode Island this fall. Before moving to the US, Myung worked as a convention coordinator in her county, Korea.